To bring or not to bring a DSLR ?

HolyRock @ 17-04-2007 09:19

Hi, I'm going out on my first interrailing trip this summer (one full month, Amsterdam-Paris-Rome-Athens-Istanbul-Brasov(Romania)-Budapest-Vienna-Kraków-Prague - or something like that at least), and I'm this close to buying a decent DSLR from Canon (probably the EOS 400D) to bring on the trip. I figure since it's a once-in-a-lifetime-exeperience (albeit not necessarily a once-in-a-lifetime-trip) I will regret it direly if I don't bring a good, proper camera to take pictures with (imagine all the photo opportunities!). However, there's no doubt that a DSLR is a big, rather heavy, and clumsy thing, apart from the obvious risk of it being stolen, mugged or robbed from me.
So, I come asking advice from my fellow experienced interrailers - is it suicide to bring a DSLR (+ an allround lens) on the interrailtrip, or is it worth the risk? Do keep in mind that I will be visiting both western and eastern Europe.

Kind regards,
// Kalle

Pete @ 18-04-2007 08:47

hi Kalle ...

on my first travels in the early 1990s, I had a big Canon with me.

The disadvantages was like you already mentioned:
- the panic that the cam will be stolen
- and it takes a lot of space in the backpack
Advantage of course: the high quality photos - and it is really a special experience of your life...

Now, since the new small digital-cameras exist, I travel with two options...
when making an interrail tour trough small villages and a lot of nature, doing the most of time sleeping in a tent, I take the big photo camera with me.
If I travel trough big cities, sleeping the most of time in hostels, I take the small digital camera with me. Because then I can put it in my sleeping-back while sleeping ... so it can not be stolen. In some hostels you have lockers, but not all are thrustfull. 😶

🙂

HolyRock @ 19-04-2007 14:53

Thanks for the answer, I'm currently leaning towards bringing it, although considering I might mostly be in cities, I might change my mind later. Going to wait till summer before I buy my camera anyway, that way I'll get it as cheap as possible, or at least a better camera for the same price that I would pay today.

Radu @ 21-04-2007 19:15

If you've never used anything similar to a dslr why not just invest in a good slr with a couple good lenses that you can keep for your dslr? You'll experience this way how it will feel to carry a dslr around, how to change lenses in the quickest and safest way and it will be a very good photography class without the worries you'd have for a 1k+ photo system.

Maybe even buy another backup manual point and shoot (even used) to preview some of the shots you'll be takeing (make sure it has the same memory type as the dslr you plan to buy and that is has a good wide angle lens that will come in hady in the landscape and architectural shots.)

I'm from Romania, Constanta and I also plan a photo interrail tour but wich won't probably happen this year so if you want to meet up to chat about your experiences on the road/or rails:P I think I could make my way up to Brasov this summer (even though I hate to leave the sea). I think I could even arrange a tour with some friends there because I've never actually went there to actually explore the city.

HolyRock @ 22-04-2007 16:27

Thanks for the advice, to be honest I'm probably going to just wait for as long as possible before buying the DSLR in order to get as much for the money as possible, or a camera as cheaply as possible (while still being decent). I'm considering the Canon EOS 400D, which would cost somewhere around 800 Euro.

As for your very kind offer of meeting up in Brasov, I humbly accept you proposal; I'll have to get in touch with you somehow when I know a bit more precisely as to when exactly I'll be in Romania =) I'm guessing sometime in the beginning of august. Hope to see you then ^^;

// Kalle

Radu @ 23-04-2007 12:01

Thanks for the advice, to be honest I'm probably going to just wait for as long as possible before buying the DSLR in order to get as much for the money as possible, or a camera as cheaply as possible (while still being decent). I'm considering the Canon EOS 400D, which would cost somewhere around 800 Euro.

I'm looking into the Pentax K10D myself because of the weather/dust seals, better kit lens, bigger sensor, in body IS (wich will make a difference if you can't afford only IS lenses), SD card and other advantages (IMO) but the 400d is my second choice (but 800 euros isn't cheap for the kit system).


As for your very kind offer of meeting up in Brasov, I humbly accept you proposal; I'll have to get in touch with you somehow when I know a bit more precisely as to when exactly I'll be in Romania =) I'm guessing sometime in the beginning of august. Hope to see you then ^^;

// Kalle

That's fine because I'm leaving for Tunisia in two days and I won't have internet acces anyway for 8 days so we'll get in touch after you have everything figured out.

bye,
Radu

niks @ 22-06-2007 10:00

holyrock. im a photographer and im going to be buying my first digital slr in hopefully a few weeks time, before i go off round europe for a month. its a nikon d80. as ive been practising wit the d70's but yeah. im gonna see about getting it insured....you know just as a saftey net.

but yeah, i just feel i HAVE TO take my camera with me....espeically considering the idea i have. so yeah take it if you feel comfortable 🙂

happy snapping....lol x

Foxeh @ 22-01-2008 15:20

i got this thing for christmas, its a wind up radio, tourch and phone charger in one, thought it was a great little item!

stezbot @ 08-04-2008 11:51

if you're wanting something cheaper, when i was first getting into photography at art college i bought a fujifilm finepix s5000 off amazon for £115. it's not a bad thing, just a shame i never carried on with photography so have to teach myself what everything does! but if you know what you're doing then you'll be fine. and it's cheap. there's always crumpler bags you can buy which would look like a normal bag as opposed to oh look he's got a nice camera which you can wear around yourself, then if you need to take that awesome photo quickly, the bag's right there.

and also get extra memory just in case you can't get to a computer! i've just bought a 2gb XD card for £9 off ebay which will give me another 500 photos or something 🤣

Flo @ 04-04-2010 17:11

Hi!

Since last summer I have a Nikon D700 which I took with me on my six week trip in summer and two week trip last february (I was travelling alone that time). Sleeping in hostels, tents (Amsterdam...), trains (sleepers as well as regular seats), ferries, ferryports, train stations. No troubles at all. 🙂
Since I like photography quite a bit and want to take decent photos a pocket cam isn't an option and I have to lug around the DSLR with me. Together with the D700 I am usually travelling with 4-5 lenses and the grip. To store all this I'm using a simple Lowepro backpack. When I'm sightseeing I take this packpack with me and can store my wallet, some water etc in it as well. Only when I'm moving from one place to another it can be tiring to walk with the big 60 litres Lafuma backback on the back and the Lowepro bag on the chest..but hey, I'm usually not tramping and only have to get from the hostel to the station and the other way round. Only when I had to walk several kilometres in the Pyrenées to get to the Petit Train Jaune both backpacks got a little heavy... 😉
When there is no locker at night to store the camera equipment (regular seats in a night train, ferry,...) I usually try to put the bag between me and a wall and put the straps around my wrists (when I was travelling with my old D80 and one lens only I put the strap of the camera around the wrist). When I was travelling with the night train Granada - Barcelona (reclining seats) I had to put the bag in the luggage rack above my seat since there was no place at my feet where I could have put it. On the top of the bag I put my water bottle covered by a sweater - so in case someone would try to get the bag the bottle would drop down and wake me up - hopefully. 😉

If you are going to stay at those big campsites you should take your cam with you during the day - never leave it in your tent. If you sleep I dont think that it will be stolen out of your tent, as long as you put it opposite to the entrance.


Flo 😎

Castaway @ 24-04-2010 23:57

Has anyone here ever been mugged during an InterRail experience?

Flo @ 25-04-2010 06:58

No. 🙂

Once my mobile was stolen at the showers of the campsite in Paris, but luckily it was very old already so it wasnt too much of a problem.

tomaustin44 @ 16-05-2010 17:25

Hi,

I work at a photographers and have bought a Canon G10 to go travelling with. Although it's not a DSLR it has many of the features of one but is small enough to fit in a rucksack. The quality of photos is superb and it shoots to RAW. Perhaps an alternative if your not happy carrying around a big SLR??

Tom

Kiefler @ 24-05-2010 10:04

I think you shouldn't wait with buying a DSLR if you've never used one before.
You can't shoot in auto mode, if you're planning on doing that, you'd better not buy a DSLR in my opinion.

Don't wait for newer models, every six months they present a new model, it could be faster, have a better chip, etc. But they won't make better pictures.

I've seen people shooting better pictures with a disposable camera than some with a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III.

I'm traveling this year with my EOS 5D Mark II, and some lenses. I'm not worried about the insurance. There are ways to insure your gear for a mere 3 to 6 euro a month.

If you own a house, contact your insurance company for an outdoor insurance. For instance, your possessions are worth and insured for let's say 50.000 euro, than for (in my case) 4 euro per month extra, my gear is insured for 5.000 euro when I'm on the road.

Trust me, buy your camera at least 2 months beforehand, you'd want to look for a good camera bag (I recommend Domke, it's low profile). You need extra batteries, storage, good lenses, cleaning material and maybe some filters.

You'll regret it when you're on your trip and you can't even photograph a sunset properly.

Hope you have a good trip!


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